Ticker Name Industry Mkt. cap YTD gain Profit Insider Breakout
Aqua Bounty Tech.
Thalassa Holdings Ltd.
Quadrise Fuels Int.
Thomas Cook Group
Seeing Machines Ltd.
KBC Advanced Tech.
Top Level Domain Hldgs.
Polar Capital Holdings
Oil & Gas
Rental and Leasing
The yearly gains of the best UK stocks range from 137% (MGR) to 585% (ABTX), what is less than half of it's US counterparts. This can be attributed to the significant outperformance of US stocks during the last year, which returned around 25% compared to the 8% return of FTSE100. Nevertheless, there were some big gainers, especially among computer and internet stocks - BLUR, SEE, XAR, BLNX, GBO, WAND, KBC. In fact Blinkx (BLNX) is in my portfolio right now, as I still see a lot of upside potential in that stock. Doing the same research as for US stocks, I have come up with these results:
- All of the best stocks had a market cap of 800 million GBP or lower, before their advance
- Every single stock from the list reached new 52-week highs multiple times during the last year
- 70% (21) paid no dividend during the last year
- 66% (20) still have an institutional ownership of 80% or lower right now
- 56% (17) experienced sharp breakouts on significant volume, which started each uptrend
- 50% (15) were bought by insiders before the biggest moves began
- 40% of companies were not profitable
- Of the best 5 UK stocks of 2013, only two were profitable, one was bought by insiders and all had broken out of their bases on strong volume before scoring large gains
Comparing these results to the US list, we can conclude so far that:
1. The best stocks are usually small caps, with market cap under 1 billion USD
2. The majority do not pay dividends
3. Institutional ownership is very low
4. More often than not, these stocks experience sharp breakouts to the upside, which start their advance
5. Top 5 stocks are generally profitable and are not bought by insiders
Again the common trait that all these stocks share is the reaching of new highs many times during their advance. It looks as the UK stocks are less speculative, given that 60% of them earned a profit during the past year compared to only 36% in US. Buying into an uptrend works in UK just like in the US, many of these stocks are still trading at or near their 52-week highs now. I will follow up with similar lists for Hong Kong and Indian stocks to see if the same patterns emerge. Meanwhile, check out the best UK stocks to buy now.